YOU haven’t seen season two?

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Photo by: Sammie Thompson

Reenacting the famously known stalker scenes in You, sophomore Arushi Sharma acts as Joe, the protagonist in the series while sophomore Malaika Beg acts as this seasons love interest, Love.

Sammie Thompson, Dispatch Reporter

Romance, secret identities, and serial killers; the trifecta of modern television. If you’re referencing the hit Netflix Original show “You”, of course. 

The first season of “You” was first released on Netflix in late 2018, and it took the world by storm. The long-awaited season 2 was released exclusively on Netflix on December 26, 2019. This season got an 89% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to the Season 1 rating of 93%.

I watched both seasons back to back over winter break, and I have to say I could not turn off the tv. This show was unlike anything I had seen before. It was extremely compelling, almost addictive, and had a way of making you empathize with even the creepiest characters. My favorite thing about the show, especially season 2, was the abundance of plot twists that only grew with insanity. Honestly, it was hard to keep up.

If you don’t know, “You” tells the story of Joe Goldberg, a quiet bookstore manager who also happens to be a serial killer and occasionally goes by the name Will Bettelheim (but we’ll get to that later). The plot of season 2 follows Joe’s move from New York to Los Angeles, where he meets Love, an avid chef who becomes Joe’s love interest for this season. Throughout the season, Joe works hard to make his relationship with Love succeed, at any and all costs. 

One of the main differences between the two seasons is the change of location. The new setting of Los Angeles in season 2 gives the show a completely different vibe, as well as allowing the directors to add a celebrity presence. I liked the attempt to switch up the show with a new setting (and name; this is where Joe becomes Will), however, I felt like it didn’t really connect with the original feeling of the show that first intrigued me. 

Along with a new setting, season 2 brought many new characters. My favorite character by far was Ellie, Joe/Will’s ambitious 15-year old neighbor. I appreciated the humor that Ellie brought to the show, as well as the youthful perspective that contrasted many of the other characters. Other notable characters included Forty, Love’s troubled twin brother, and Amy (formerly known as Candace), Joe/Will’s ex-girlfriend who was also posing under another name. Other than the plot twists, these characters were my favorite part of the show. I feel like the viewer was really able to connect with each individual character and see into their minds. This is why so many people, myself included, occasionally found ourselves relating in some weird way to a serial killer.

This brings me to the controversy. Many people agree that it is troubling how many people defend Joe’s disturbing, and very much illegal, actions that he takes to succeed in his relationships. Penn Badgley himself, who plays Joe, even expressed his concern on Twitter. Personally, I agree. This show is very much a psychological thriller, and its producers did not hold back on things that will mess with your mind. However, I think that this controversy has sparked many interesting and important conversations among viewers that can relate back to the real world.

After overwhelmingly positive feedback, Netflix announced that they were renewing “You” earlier this year for a season 3. The third season is expected to be released early 2021 and was alluded to in the season 2 finale. Personally, I am looking forward to watching it, and can’t wait to see the crazy and slightly disturbing things the “You” producers will come up with next.